24 restaurants, including two in Peoria, whip up desserts to help the cause
By Steve Stockmar, Independent Newsmedia
Jeremiah Gracia found his sweet spot in one try.
The owner/chef of Revolu Modern Taqueria + Bar, 15703 N. 83rd Ave. in Peoria, is one of 24 restaurants across the Valley and Flagstaff taking part in the 5th Annual Girl Scout Cookie Dessert Challenge, to celebrate the launch of another round of Girl Scout cookie sales, which are available Jan. 22 through March 4.
Admitting that he’s “not a baker by any means,” Mr. Gracia trusted his taste buds enough to choose Tagalongs as his main cookie weapon.
The challenge has no rules per se. Kitchens get to choose their cookie and whip up their own dessert based around the tasty treat. A portion of the proceeds of the sale of each dessert, between Feb. 1 and 28, benefit the Arizona Cactus-Pine Council, a non-profit serving more than 20,000 girls in grades K-12, including more than 10,000 adult volunteers, with girls in more than 90 communities, including Indian Reservations and military installations in central and northern Arizona.
Mr. Gracia hit it out of the park in one try with his, aptly titled, “Tagalong Chocolate Ice Cream Cake.”
“I literally just took a basic chocolate cake recipe and threw everything else together,” he said, from inside the Revolu kitchen, a stone’s throw from the Peoria Sports Complex. “It’s basically chocolate cake with alternating layers of chocolate cake, Tagalong ice cream, chocolate cake, Tagalong ice cream, chocolate cake. Then I top that with a chocolate and peanut butter ganache. The thing’s huge.”
Revolu serves modernized Mexican street food and is, in Mr. Gracia’s words, “a taco truck without the wheels on steroids.” They already carry a signature Churro Ice Cream Sandwich dessert, and will offer the special Tagalong cake for $9 starting Feb. 1 and throughout the entire month during the challenge.
The Haymaker Peoria, 24762 N. Lake Pleasant Pkwy., is also participating in this year’s challenge with a Samoa cookie-based milkshake.
“We give full creative license to the chefs, as long as they implement the cookie fully,” said Breanne Krager of HMA Public Relations, which is helping coordinate the event for a fifth straight year. “And then it’s up to them — what it’s garnished with, what it’s comprised of.”
That was the easy part, for Mr. Gracia.
“I’m a huge peanut butter chocolate fan, and I love ice cream. It’s one of my vices,” he said. “The Tagalong was my first choice.”
The sale of cookies as a way to finance troop activities began as early as 1917, five years after Juliette Gordon Low started Girl Scouts in the United States, when the Mistletoe Troop in Muskogee, Oklahoma, baked cookies and sold them in its high school cafeteria as a service project.
GIRL SCOUT COOKIE FACTS:
• The 5th Annual Girl Scout Cookie Dessert Challenge, benefiting the Girl Scouts–Arizona Cactus-Pine Council, appears in 24 Arizona restaurants between Feb. 1-28
• Little Brownie Bakers has been baking Girl Scout Cookies for more than 35 years
• Over 4.9 million Thin Mints are made each day during peak baking season
• 750,000 pounds of flour are used per week
• Peanut butter cream is distributed onto Do-si-dos at a rate of 2,100 per minute.
• Each kitchen oven is approximately 100 to 280 feet long and has four baking zones with very specific jobs